Let’s take it from the top: Vitreq was founded in 2015. Just three years later, it has 55 employees and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. The company’s rapid expansion can be attributed in part to a strong business plan featuring a clear vision and sharp focus. Frank Ruseler, CEO: “From the start, we wanted to tap the high end of the market, offering top-quality innovative products. That turns out to have been a wise choice.”
A strong business plan will only get you so far. Before starting the company, the founders engaged a professional ad agency to craft the brand name and logo. That was an intensive process, given that the bar had been set high. The brand name needed to be linked to the business activities, sound right everywhere in the world, and be able to be trademarked. After lengthy reflection and numerous brainstorming sessions, they came up with the name ‘Vitreq’. The name shares its first five letters with ‘vitreoretinal surgery’, the technical term for retinal surgery – with a “q” added at the end. The final letter ‘q’ in the name gives the brand name its distinctiveness and allows it to be trademarked.
Looking closely, you will notice an eye incorporated in the Vitreq logo. Basically, it’s a creative illustration of an eyeball with the pupil looking diagonally upwards. Combined with fresh colours, the illustration forms a distinct logo that exudes quality and elicits a positive emotional response. The company regularly receives compliments on its logo from ophthalmologists. In the span of just three years, Vitreq has achieved a high level of global brand awareness in the medical world. Frank Ruseler: “That’s exactly what we’re after. What drives us is our core ambition to break through to the global top 3. Once you’ve got that ambition, a powerful logo and good brand name become incredibly important.”
The Vitreq story is quite rare. There are very few companies that manage to attain a global top 3 position in three years’ time having started from scratch. Vitreq has trademarked its brand name in numerous jurisdictions, including Japan, the US and multiple European countries. “That gives us peace of mind,” says Frank Ruseler. “Our achievement has been a team effort. That makes Vitreq our baby. Everyone at our company is proud of that. It’s wonderful to see.”
Robust brand protection has become a crucial issue for businesses. But what is it that makes a brand distinctive? How are brands created? What is their significance to the brand owner? And what do brands stand for? In this column, we offer you a behind-the-scenes look into fascinating stories behind brands. In this issue, we will take a closer look at Vitreq.